It is hard to believe Labor Day Weekend is upon us. The summer at Mapletree Farm has flown by. It seemed like it rained all summer, or at least most of it. So what does that mean for our maple trees? It is hard to say, but my educated guess is that there will be more and much sweeter sap in the spring of 2022. Educated guess? We experienced a severe drought during the summer of 2020. The sap we collected this past spring contained very low sugar content, the lowest I can ever remember at the start of the production season. We never got a “big sap run” either. It took an average of 66 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. That is way more sap than previous averages. The syrup throughout the season ran darker than normal. It took more sap to make syrup and thus took more time to boil. The longer the boil, the darker the syrup. Every sugarmaker I know had the same experience. Given the 2021 summer weather was about the opposite of the 2020 summer weather, I am predicting that the spring sugaring season will be far different than this past sugaring season; hence my educated guess.
Our summertime projects have involved making lots of maple cream, making many bags of maple coated nuts, and keeping up with the syrup inventory. In addition, we have been cutting next season’s firewood and mowing the planted maple grove by the sugarhouse. The maple grove looks fantastic now with lush grass and ferns. For those of you who have never seen our planted sugarbush or maple orchard, there are photos on this website and social media (@mapletreefarmnh).
We have had numerous guests this summer as part of the Harvest Hosts Program. The guests are overnight campers with self-contained recreational vehicles. So far our guests have come from nearly 40 states across the USA. I have talked to most of them and have given many tours of the sugarhouse. It is great fun explaining the maple story. So many have had no idea of what it takes to make maple syrup. Yup, some even thought it came straight out of the tree! Others have thought the sap lines were part of an irrigation system. It is nice to be able to correct the various misconceptions and to let guests sample our pure New Hampshire maple syrup. Some claim they will never buy “store bought” again! I tell them we ship.
Soon the leaves with turn their magical colors and the maple trees will be brilliant. Visit us if you want to see those colors and to stock up on maple holiday gifts.
Dean aka The Old Man of Mapletree Farm